By Diana Bowley, Of the NEWS Staff - DEXTER - The emphasis placed by SAD 46 on reading is paying dividends in higher reading scores of its students.
Directors learned during a Wednesday meeting that every student exceeded, met or partially met the standards in reading on the Maine Educational Assessment tests.
SAD 46 Superintendent Les Butler said there was no student in the district who failed to meet the standard.
In addition, students in grade 11 scored above average in all subject areas on the MEAs and elementary and middle school pupils scored at the state average, the superintendent said.
"We are seeing the benefits of the emphasis we have placed on language arts in the district," Butler said Thursday.
The district offers Reading Recovery in the first grade. A collaborative literacy program initially was offered to children in kindergarten through grade two, but now has expanded to grades three through five.
Reading Recovery is a short-term, early intervention, prevention literacy program designed for children who are at risk of failing to learning to read in first grade. The grade 11 students were the first group of children to have benefited from the program in the district 12 years ago.
The collaborative literacy program is a program that provides long-term, professional development and support for teachers.
SAD 46 was one of only two districts in the state to have a teacher trained to serve as a coordinator for the grade three to five program, according to Butler.
In addition to hearing the positive news about the test scores on Wednesday, directors approved an $800,000 loan agreement with the Maine Bond Bank. District voters approved the loan in June.
This money is for the replacement of the boilers at Dexter Regional High School, a project that has been completed, as well as for roof repair at the Tri-County Technical Center and for groundwork at the high school.
Directors voted to allow about 12 Dexter Middle School pupils to perform with the Abbott Hill Ramblers, a local band, at the annual reunion of the Maine Writing Project "Fellows" on Oct. 1 in Bangor.
A three-year lease with Banknorth, N.A. to purchase technology equipment at a cost of $110,485 also was approved by directors.
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